Two Highly Effective Bodybuilding Workouts
By Jonathan Bales
, last updated November 1, 2011
Bodybuilding is far different from power lifting, and that is reflected in the workout routine and two great ones are listed below. Whereas power lifters want to stick to full-body exercises and do as much weight as possible, bodybuilders actually perform different exercises that are meant to increase muscle mass. Furthermore, bodybuilders do not lift as much weight as possible, but rather generally stick to a medium rep range. Sometimes, bodybuilders even use high reps to build muscle mass. There are a lot of different bodybuilding routines which work well, and the one you choose will depend on your personal goals, weaknesses, and so on.
The Upper Body Barbell Routine
While a lot of bodybuilding exercises do not overlap with power lifting, the bench press is one used by just about everyone. That is because the bench press is effective at building both strength and size. Of course, your goals will dictate how you perform the exercise. For bodybuilders, a rep range of about eight to 12 is best. Perform slow, controlled repetitions as opposed to throwing the bar up as quickly as possible. Remember, bodybuilding is about controlling the weight you are using, not lifting as much weight as possible. As long as you are fatiguing your muscles, the weight is almost irrelevant.
Designed for the shoulders, the military press also hits the triceps and upper back. This makes it a great complement to the bench press. Again, perform slow repetitions, lifting the bar all the way before lowering it down to your chest. Try to avoid placing the bar behind your head, as this can lead to a shoulder injury.
The final main muscle builder for the Upper Body Barbell Routine is the bent-over row. With your knees bent slightly, start with your arms extended toward the ground and grasping the barbell. Slowly raise it up to your mid-stomach, contract your back muscles, and lower it. Bent-over rows target the back, abdominals, and biceps.
The Lower Body Barbell Routine
Another exercise that is used by both bodybuilders and power lifters, the barbell squat should be a staple of every weightlifter's routine. The exercise targets the quadriceps and hamstrings, also hitting the abdominals. In terms of a muscle builder for the legs, nothing beats traditional squats.
Stiff Legged Deadlift
The stiff legged deadlift is a variation of a traditional deadlift in which one simply picks up the bar from the ground and brings it to the waist. In a traditional deadlift, the knees are bent, placing the majority of the strain on the back. In this version, the bodybuilder keeps their legs relatively straight, placing emphasis on the hamstrings. It is a perfect complement to squats and is sure to build muscle.
While this combination of exercises might seem simple, bodybuilding is not rocket science. Stick to the basic muscle-building exercises, avoiding machines and other time-wasters. Ultimately, you want to use as many muscles as possible on each exercise, fatiguing them by using controlled, deliberate repetitions.